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Law Constitutional

Constitutional Labour Rights in Canada

Farm Workers and the Fraser Case

edited by Fay Faraday, Judy Fudge & Eric Tucker

Publisher
Irwin Law Inc.
Initial publish date
Apr 2012
Category
Constitutional, Labor & Employment, Agricultural
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781552212912
    Publish Date
    Apr 2012
    List Price
    $52.00
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781552212929
    Publish Date
    Apr 2012
    List Price
    $52.00

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Description

On 29 April 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada released its much-anticipated decision in Attorney General of Ontario v Fraser, which dealt with the scope of constitutional protection of collective bargaining. The case involved a constitutional challenge to an Ontario statute on the grounds that it violated agricultural workers’ freedom of association and right to equality by excluding them from the statutory protection that is available to virtually all other private sector workers and by failing to provide them with alternative legislative support for meaningful and effective collective bargaining rights. Although the Court upheld the constitutionality of the legislation by an eight to one majority, it provided four different, and incommensurable, sets of reasons. For the union that instigated the litigation, Fraser is a defeat. For the labour movement and their advocates, Fraser is ambiguous. What is clear, however, is that the Supreme Court of Canada was badly divided over the scope of protection that freedom of association provides to the right to bargain collectively.

 This collection of original essays untangles the two stories that are intertwined in the Fraser decision—the story of the farm workers and their union’s attempt to obtain rights at work available to other working people in Ontario, and the tale of judicial discord over the meaning of freedom of association in the context of work. The contributors include trade unionists, lawyers, and academics (several of whom were involved in Fraser as witnesses, parties, lawyers, and interveners). The collection provides the social context out of which the decision emerged, including a photo essay on migrant workers, while at the same time illuminating Fraser’s broader jurisprudential and institutional implications.

About the authors

Fay Faraday is a social justice lawyer in Toronto, representing community groups and coalitions, unions, and individuals. With a practice focusing on constitutional and appellate litigation, labour, human rights, and administrative/public law, she has extensive  experience with Charter litigation at all levels of court, including numerous cases before the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeal.  In her legal practice, Fay has addressed a wide range of social justice issues relating to migrant workers and workers in precarious employment, women’s equality, race discrimination, gender and work, rights of persons with disabilities, employment equity, poverty, income security, international human rights norms, and homelessness and the right to adequate housing. Fay has also served as an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School teaching courses in legal ethics and ethical lawyering, and has published extensively on constitutional law and human rights.

 

Fay Faraday's profile page

Judy Fudge is the Lansdowne Chair in Law at the University of Victoria. She has been widely published in law, history, and industrial relations journals, and she has co-authored and co-edited several books, including Labour Before the Law: The Legal Regulation of Workers’ Collective Action (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001, with Eric Tucker), Privatization, Law and the Challenge to Feminism (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002, with Brenda Cossman), Precarious Work, Women and the New Economy: The Challenge to Legal Norms (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2006, with Rosemary Owens). She is a member of the Inter-University Research Centre on Globalization and Work, and in 2009 she received the Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights for her research project “Labour Rights as Human Rights: Unions, Women, and Migrants.”

 

Judy Fudge's profile page

Eric Tucker, B.A., LL.B., LL.M. is a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. He has published extensively on the history and current state of labour and employment law. He is the author of Administering Danger in the Workplace (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990) and co-author of Labour Before the Law: The Legal Regulation of Workers’ Collective Action (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001, with Judy Fudge) and Self-Employed Workers Organize (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005, with Cynthia Cranford, Judy Fudge, and Leah Vosko). He is also the editor of Working Disasters: The Politics of Recognition and Response (Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Company, 2006).

 

Eric Tucker's profile page

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